Leicester City should continue with Claude Puel at the helm of affairs
According to reports in Independent, Leicester City manager Claude Puel has shrugged off speculations regarding any potential threat to his job. The 56-year-old took over the reins from Craig Shakespeare last October and overturned Leicester’s fortunes last season as the Foxes finished ninth after a disappointing start which had seen them battle with relegation.
The Frenchman, has introduced an attractive brand of football at the King Power stadium since his arrival. He fielded young players in the starting line-up and fed them with confidence to perform at their best. Puel is a kind of a manager who loves improving young players, he has continued his trend of nurturing those talents at Leicester, as evident from his team selections.
In this season, despite showing promise, the Foxes lost their first game to Manchester United. However, Puel, as strong a character that he is, motivated his players and inspired them to a 2-0 victory over Wolves in the second game. A late winner against Southampton must have felt sweet for the team, in which they had to come from behind.
The former Saints boss, who led them to a League Cup final, is known for his flexible style of play and has the tendency to alter his tactics and formations according to the opposition that he faces. He has preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation since taking charge but is not hesitant to switch to 4-5-1 if the situation demands. In a few games in the Premier League last season, Puel even switched to an extremely attacking 4-2-4 from 4-2-3-1 in his attempt to overcome a deficit in the final minutes.
It was interesting to see how Puel changed his team dynamics to get The Foxes back to winning ways against Wolves after a defeat. The manager brought in the more hard-working Nampalys Mendy in place of Adrien Silva in central midfield and shifted Ricardo Pereira to his preferred right-back, from where he was allowed to venture up front.
With a perfect blend of youth and experience, Leicester City have an impressive squad of players this season. And there can be no one better than Claude Puel to manage it. The Frenchman has already contributed a lot to the development of the squad with new transfers and by promoting young players.
Leicester should not forget that Puel had rescued the club from the potential threat of relegation last season and had led them to a respectable finish in the Premier League. However, the management must have realistic expectations of him.
While a top-5 finish seems a step too ahead, a Europa League play-off spot next season should not be beyond the grasp if the Frenchman continues to remain at the helm of affairs.